Exit Discrimination in Major League Baseball: 1990-2004
Using a panel study of annual Major League Baseball data (1990-2004) we do not find evidence of exit discrimination against African-American players in Major League Baseball. Our findings are inconsistent with results from a study by Jiobu (1988) using 1971-1985 data which found that race decreased career length, ceteris paribus, for black players but not Hispanics. Our results are consistent with recent findings that failed to find evidence of exit discrimination in the NBA using data from the 1990s. In our semi-parametric duration analysis, we find that performance variables are important in determining career length. We find no evidence that race affects the career duration of black hitters. Past research had suggested that discrimination by majority, white fans led owners in sports to keep less talented white players on rosters. Our results suggest that team owners in the pursuit of championships keep talented players regardless of race. This is an affirmation of Becker's theoretical implications of market competition overcoming discrimination.
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